Raising two sons and with another (boy!) on the way, Octavia wasn't thrilled about the idea of adding brown bag lunches to her daily routine this year as her oldest son Steven started school. In fact, she dreaded it. "I wanted my kids to love lunch time and not be disappointed!" she says. "I wanted lunches to be as free of processed foods as possible, but also fun, and delicious."
So, after browsing PInterest for ideas, like the cool mom she is, Octavia discovered Japanese bento box kid lunches filled with rice molded into fun shapes. She thought she could use the same techniques to form fun sandwiches and her sandwich art project was born. "I figure if I can start to enjoy making lunches, and use healthy delicious ingredients, my kids will learn to love lunch time, too."
Octavia says that sandwich making is now the highlight of her day. She cuts a jagged line across a sandwich and adds carrot eyes to make a monster face or recreates Angry Birds characters, in all their sandwich glory. Really, Angry Bird sandwiches! Her trick is using food "adhesives" like peanut butter, Nutella, and honey to keep eyes, eyebrows, and noses in place. Sturdy foods like carrot and grape slices can be pressed right into the bread and hold without any food "glue". She hasn't had to use toothpicks to hold anything together yet, but she is careful to show Steven the finished product before he leaves for school, in case the sandwich design doesn't quite hold until lunch time.
Sandwich art keeps Octavia's creative mind flowing for new designs and ideas and translates into a fun lunch away from home for her son. "Since Steven is still learning to read, these super silly faces are a reminder that his goofy mommy loves him very much."
(Images: Octavia Reese-Huizenga, used with permission)